Mosquito control products comprise a significant part of the US$4 billion public health segment.
Major suppliers of mosquito control products include Bayer Environmental Science, Valent BioSciences, Clarke, Central Life Sciences, BASF, Summit Chemical AMVAC , Univar, UPL, Kadant GranTek, Babolna-Bio, MGK, Westham and AllPro Vector etc.
Government is the major consumer of mosquito control products with residential and commercial users also significant. NGOs and aid organisations are also active in this area, providing mosquito control products to developing countries.
Very few public health insecticides have been developed for control of arbovirus mosquito vectors in disease endemic countries over the last 30-years. Public Health therefore represents a key vertical market for Bio-Gene, with demand being driven predominantly by the treatment of resistant populations of mosquitos and other vectors that transmit infectious diseases.
Vector Borne Diseases
“Insect vector-borne disease” is the term commonly used to describe an illness/or disease caused by an infectious microbe that is transmitted to humans or animals by vectors such as mosquitoes, ticks, sand flies or flies. A number of diseases are transmitted this way.
The major vector-borne diseases together account for approx. 17% of illness and disability worldwide, and 25% of all emerging infectious diseases. It is estimated that vector borne diseases claim more than 700,000 lives every year. In 2017 the World Health Organisation (WHO) issued a Global Vector Control Response with the aim to reduce mortality due to vector-borne diseases by at least 75%, and reduce case incidence by at least 60%, by 2030.
Malaria represents a substantial global health risk with 219 million cases being reported in 87 countries, causing 435,000 deaths in 2017 alone. In 2017, a total of US$3.1 billion was invested in malaria control and elimination activities. The direct cost associated with malaria (such as medical treatment, illness and fatalities) has been estimated at approximately US$12 billion annually in Africa alone.
The emergence of the Zika virus is also problematic. Many current insecticides have proven to be ineffective in combating the spread of this disease suggesting new solutions are required to overcome growing insecticide resistance.
In April 2016, 42 countries reported their first outbreak of the Zika virus. The United Nations Development Program estimated at the time that the spread of the Zika virus to Latin America and the Caribbean alone would cost between US$7-18 billion for 2015 to 2017 with control measures available extremely limited.
An estimated 96 million cases of Dengue fever are reported per year, with the increase in incidence increasing almost 30% in the past 50 years. The WHO has reported the number of dengue fever cases increased from 2.2 million in 2010 to 3.3 million in 2016. Dengue fever, together with associated dengue haemorrhagic fever (DHF), is the world’s fastest growing vector borne disease. The estimated aggregate global cost of dengue fever was approximately US$8.9 billion per year in 2013.
The numbers presented here illustrate the size of the problems that Bio-Gene is targeting. These diseases are a part of a growing global issue and represent a significant threat to human health. These diseases continue to have an enormous negative impact on economic and social life despite considerable national and international control efforts. In particular the mosquito control market is growing at a 6% compound annual growth rate to approx. US$2.7 billion with chemical interventions representing the largest defence technique. There is demand for control products with improved efficacy over existing products that block resistance mechanisms across a range of disease vectors. With an increase in resistance by mosquitos to various insecticides this presents an ideal opportunity for Bio-Gene’s technology with its novel mode of action, to potentially combat this increasing threat.